Torres column: Pain (eventually) leads to happiness
Today is a new day. I have learned that to live to the fullest and avoid suffering, I have to let go of the past and forget about what it used to be. I have to plan my future, and not expect that everything comes as I expected. In other words, I can only live in the present. One day at a time.
That I should always do my best to expect the best, to stop making excuses, accept my mistakes and take responsibility for all that happens in my life, to let life happen and let time uncover the reasons why things happened. Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking back.”
Mistakes bring pain, losses bring pain, risk brings pain, trying brings pain. But if we don’t make mistakes, we don’t learn; if we don’t lose it means we don’t make mistakes; if we don’t risk, we don’t make mistakes; if we don’t try, we don’t risk. To become better every day we must try, risk, make mistakes and lose. Therefore, pain is inevitable, and it is needed to continue progressing, which leads to happiness.
I have experienced two types of pain, physical and emotional. Physical pain I am very used to. I know it will go away soon. It is only a discomfort of my body telling me that I hurt it, but it will heal. It will only take time.
Emotional pain is a little more complicated for me. It is hard to fail and start over, to realize that my life will not be the same because of my loss. Emotional pain brings me to my knees, it makes me cry and ask God for forgiveness. It makes me ask God for his wisdom to understand this pain. It makes me a better person. It makes me humble. It makes me human. It makes me understand others. It teaches me that I still have more to learn about life.
I have noticed that only people who transcend are capable of embracing high levels of pain. Martin Luther King is an example. He went to jail for months for doing what is right. His life and his family’s lives were threatened many times. Living every day wondering when and where another bomb was going to detonate and always leaving his family behind because of his high purpose in life.
Gandhi is another great example, walking for more than 500 miles to free his people from unjust laws. He fasted many times, almost to death to help his people do the right thing. Giving all his material things and sourcing by only necessary means.
Mother Teresa also sacrificed her comfortable life to help others. Without support and resources she was begging for food to help the needy. She was rejected so many times, and she never gave up.
Jesus also suffered. The thought of him knowing the pain he had to go through that I’m sure was pure agony. He knew he was about to get whipped almost to death, and then he needed to carry his cross, nailed and crucified, exposed in the sun, hungry and thirsty while many people were laughing under his feet.
I notice that to achieve something extraordinary, I must become extraordinary, and to become extraordinary, I must endure pain and discomfort. The good thing is that pain is not here to stay and will leave some day. It may last hours, days, months or years, but one day it will be gone, and I will be better, stronger, wiser and more skillful.
My life will be average like many others if I am not willing to risk and try, but great achievements come from great endurance. Therefore, I am willing to continue moving forward and not give up on my dreams, because with God I can overcome any difficulty. Today I am a better person thanks to the pain that I am living and pain that I have overcome. I am living today for what I have and for who I am. The past is in the past, and the future is not here. Consequently, I am living my present like there is no future or past, doing my best.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.” His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.